the technical definition of "badassery"

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 in grand style (where by "grand" I mean "exactly as you want to celebrate it").

So this week, I was getting ready to put together a playlist for January (I'm addicted to, and as I always do before I make one, I started thinking about what January feels like for me.  I have to admit: I love the beginning of the year.  It feels like a blank page of a brand new journal: full of potential, ready to become whatever I want it to be.  So as I thought more about it, I started picking songs that I felt reflected the sense of let's-go-get-'em-ness that I love about January -- and then I got so excited, I took to Twitter:


This started quite the conversation on the word "badassery."

"Badassery," mused one. "Maybe that will be my word for 2011." 

"That's the addendum to my regular resolution," said another, "live for the now and not the next & strive for badassery. Always." 

People began calling for "badassery in 2011" and a "badassery revolution." Although I was surprised at the strong response, I was pretty delighted.  Badassery in 2011, indeed.

And then one person asked if I could explain what, exactly, "badassery" meant.

Well, to be honest, when I typed the original tweet, I hadn't given it much thought about what it meant.  However,  I have since -- and I've become convinced that in fact, badassery is an absolutely noble goal to pursue.  And although the following might not be an exhaustive list, if I were to put a definition around what someone who practices badassery would be, it would go something like:

  • Someone who isn't afraid to wish good things for herself.  Someone who believes she's worthy of being happy.
  • Someone who isn't afraid to make goals, and then once those goals are made, isn't afraid of taking those first, tiny steps toward achieving those goals. 
  • Someone who realizes that taking care of himself isn't selfish or egotistical, but that sometimes you have to put the oxygen mask on first before you start helping others.
  • Someone who realizes that at his core, he's a good person.  And that given this, when he makes a mistake, maybe he should go easy on himself.
  • Someone who, when bad things happen (and make no mistake, they will happen), will not spend valuable time thinking about who did her wrong, or why the world is conspiring against her, but will instead spend that time working through it by taking care of herself, leaning on friends as necessary, asking for help when needed, and treating herself as she would a good friend going through a similar situation.  Someone who, when life knocks her down, does what she can to pick herself up, dust herself off, and try, try again. 
  • Someone who makes kindness to friends, people around him (like waiters and others in the service industry), and even strangers his primary focus; and who also takes care to surround himself and cultivate relationships with good friends who have equal focus.  Someone who is never afraid to speak his mind or his truth, but always does so with kindness.
  • And finally (and probably most predictably), someone who works hard at reframing the things that make him different, recognizing them as attributes that are sources of great beauty, and when used for good, maybe even superpowers.

Yeah.  That person? In my opinion, that person is a badass.

So here's to working toward more badassery in 2011. 

And also? Here's that playlist I was working on.  It's sort of my Soundtrack of Badassery.

And finally, while I'm at it, a new year's wish for each and every one of you:  may this year be even more than your hearts desire.

* * * * * * *

Someone on twitter asked for a blog button proclaiming their commitment toward badassery for 2011.  So for that person (and anyone else who is so inclined), here's a button for you to pretty up your blog.  Simply copy the code next to it, insert it on your blog, and away you'll go:  you'll officially be an Ambassador for Badassery.  A Bloggy Badassery Ambassador, if you will!


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Karen Walrond44 Comments